New & Prospective Kitten Owners
WHERE CAN I FIND A KITTEN IN THE
I apologise to those readers from outside
the UK who are looking for a kitten - the RBBA only has contacts
within the UK.
http://www.russianblue.org/ or http://www.breedlist.com/russian-blue-breeders.html
for lists of breeders in America.
If want to to find a kitten please either ring
your nearest Russian Blue breeder or ring
The Kitten Secretary of the Russian Blue Breeders Association who
will advise you of any others in your area:
|Mrs. Caroline Moore
Russian Blue Breeders Association recommend that kittens for sale
should be fit, healthy, at least 13 weeks of age and fully inoculated
against feline enteritis and cat flu when they leave
home. Kittens should have completed the course of inoculations at
least 7 days before being sold. It is also possible for kittens
to be inoculated against the feline leukaemia virus and/or Chlamydia.
Breeders should provide the new owner with the kitten's vaccination
If the kitten is advertised or sold as a pedigree
Russian Blue then the breeder must provide the new owner with a
signed pedigree certificate of at least 3 generations. The breeder
should also give the new owner the registration document, this is
in the form of a pink transfer slip. To transfer ownership of a
cat or kitten the transfer slip needs to be signed by both the breeder
and the new owner and sent to the office of the Governing Council
Of The Cat Fancy accompanied by the appropriate fee. If the transfer
slip is marked "no progeny to be registered" then the cat should
not be used for breeding as the GCCF will not register its offspring.
Kittens for showing must be registered and transferred into the
name of the new owner 21 days before the date of the show.
Many kittens are sold with insurance to cover
any illness or accidents that might occur during the kitten's first
few weeks in its new home.
YOUR NEW KITTEN
best age to acquire a new Russian Blue kitten is around 13 weeks.
At this age kittens should be fully inoculated for feline enteritis,
cat 'flu and possibly leukaemia. It is essential that the breeder
should keep the kitten for a few days after inoculation so that
it can recover from any reaction due to the injections. Confine
your new kitten to one room to allow it to settle into its new surroundings
and do not let it go outside until you are sure that it will not
be terrified and run away.
Selecting a kitten is difficult. Consult a vet
about breeders he/she knows or the Russian
Blue Breeders Association who can put you in touch with local
breeders known to have kittens available. Go and see the kitten(s)
and its parents before it is ready to leave and watch it grow up
and note how its character develops. Select a playful, active kitten
with bright eyes, a shiny coat and mite-free ears. Remember that
although cats are relatively self-sufficient pets, if you are at
work all day, two kittens will enjoy each others company and play
When you get your kitten, check that you have
certificates of inoculation; pedigree, a registration slip and a
filled-in transfer slip. (In some cases registrations can take some
time, so do not worry if this document is not available and the
breeder sends it on to you.) If you have a registration certificate,
you can send the transfer slip to the Governing
Council of the Cat Fancy so that the cat can be registered in
Kittens can be registered on two different lists:
one is called the Active Register, which means that the kitten/cat
is considered suitable for breeding and that any progeny can be
registered with the GCCF. The cat can also be shown. The other is
the non-active Register which means that the cat is not suitable
for breeding and that no progeny will be registered by the GCCF
but that the cat can still be shown. This affords some protection
both to the breeder and the animal. Finally, check that you have
a diet sheet from the breeder so that you can give the kitten familiar
foods to start with.
When you take your kitten home, have a warm basket,
with either woollen blankets or preferably "vet bed" (a commercial
fur rug which can be washed and sterilised) in it, and have a litter
tray and a bowl of water by this. Keep the kitten in a quiet room.
Let it explore the house gradually (having eradicated obvious dangers
first) and introduce it to other household pets gradually. Talk
to your kitten. Remember it is quick to learn and therefore encourage
good behaviour and discourage bad manners. Make sure the diet you
give the kitten is the one to which it has been used and remember
that at three months, the kitten should have four meals a day. Most
cats are not greedy animals and do not overeat, so see how much
the animal wants, but never leave fresh rejected food out - remove
it. However dried food can be left down at all times if desired.
At four to six months the kitten only needs three
meals a day and after this you may want to cut the meals down to
twice a day.
A cat needs toys such as ping-pong balls,
corks, paper-balls, furry (toy!) mice and a scratching post.
TYPES OF FOOD
Some cats today are raised entirely on
high quality dried food while others are fed a mixed diet. Unless
they have been raised in this way, they will probably by now be
used to tinned kitten food and this can be varied by giving raw
meat, cooked chicken or rabbit and poached white fish. Many cats
love pilchards in tomato sauce as a treat. All foods should be given
at room temperature and should never be taken direct from the 'fridge.
Some cats love milk, and milky dishes such as milk mixed with Farex
or rice pudding. In some animals, however, milk does produce diarrhoea.
If this happens, just give water to drink. In any case, a dish of
fresh water must be left down at all times. With a diet such as
this, extra vitamins are not really necessary, but yeast tablets,
such as Kitzyme, can be given - again as a treat. If in doubt, consult
Blue cats are meticulous and require little grooming. Loose hair
should be removed with a comb and the coat can be buffed with chamois
leather or a silk scarf. Excessive grooming will take the thickness
out of the coat and make it look flat and lifeless. It is worth
remembering that a Russian Blue kitten's baby coat will lose its
thickness at the age of nine or ten weeks and may appear rather
flat. By the age of four or five months the coat should be short,
thick, plushy and very fine, standing away from the body and be
silky in texture.
About once a week the ears should be inspected,
and if necessary, gently cleaned with damp cotton-wool buds; and
if the animal has fleas, products such as Advantage,
can be obtained from your 'vet. Flea collars are not recommended.
These flatten and wear the hair around the neck and ruin the cat's
appearance. They may also cause skin problems. Consult your 'vet
for long lasting treatments which are only available through a Veterinary
Practice. Flea control measures are best obtained through your 'vet
rather than buying from pet shops.
All of the coal-based disinfectants, such
as cresols, Jeyes Fluid, Dettol, Lysol etc must be avoided as these
are poisonous to cats. Iodine is also poisonous to cats. The best
disinfectant is Sodium Hypochorite (bleach) or Milton correctly
diluted (which will kill the 'flu virus). A full list of safe disinfectants
can be obtained from the International
Cat Care. Many human medications, such as aspirin, are very
dangerous to cats. Creosote is poisonous and cat pens/cages should
be painted with safe products such as Cuprinol. Anti-freeze is also
poisonous and apparently very attractive to cats and must be carefully
guarded from your pet. Please check labels carefully. Kittens are
curious by nature. Cookers, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble
dryers are hazards and must be kept closed. Open toilets and full
baths are temptations and can be lethal.
This can be spread on flower beds etc. but the theobromine it contains
is toxic to cats and dogs. You are advised not to use this on your
NEUTERING AND BREEDING
If you have a male kitten and you are not
using him for breeding (which is very specialised task which needs
a lot of thought, money and dedication) it is essential to neuter
him when he is clinically mature, that is, when the testicles have
descended. If the kitten is not neutered, he will spray his territory
and leave a most unpleasant smell behind him. This is why Stud cats
have their own quarters away from the house. Also, entire males
often wander miles from home searching for females and get into
fights with other males which often result in large 'vets bills.
Most rescued Russian Blue cats are unneutered males. Please ask
your 'vet for advice on the right time to neuter your kitten. Microchipping
of cats is now available which does help with locating lost/found
A female kitten will start to call at about six
months, and if she is not being used to breed from, then she should
be spayed or unwanted kittens will appear. If you bought to breed
from your cat and she is on the Active Register she should not be
mated at the first call and in any event not until at least a year
HELP AND ADVICE
For any advice always consult the breeder
first. Find out the name of a good vet and visit him/her once your
new kitten is established. Do not wait to take the kitten to the
'vet until there is a dire emergency.
The Russian Blue Breeders Association is a club
open to everyone interested in Russian Blue cats. It is useful to
join the breed club and to meet other owners and breeders. A Newsletter
is produced twice a year and a Championship Show is held once a
Cat Care is a charity whose aim is to produce a responsible
attitude towards cats and to investigate feline diseases. It provides
a regular bulletin for members, maintains a library and a list of
special publications as well as offering a referral service for
member Veterinary surgeons.
The Russian Blue Breeders
Association's Annual Show is usually held on the first Saturday
Thanks to Pat Hardy of Machika cats
for the pictures in this section.
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